John Kaster

Behind the Screen

Borland Corporate weblog policy

with 7 comments

There have been recent public discussions of blogging policies in general, and speculation about the webblog policy used by Borland. Rather than leaving everyone guessing, I decided to post our blog policy so everyone could see it. Maybe it will help other companies formulate their weblog policies, as well. We put together this policy while we were developing the Borland blog server for BDN at the request of our CEO, Dale Fuller. Dale felt it was important for our employees to have the opportunity to engage in direct conversation with our customers about the work they are doing. If the policy is updated, I’ll post the updates here.

(For technical information on the blog server customizations we made, see my first blog post.)

Borland Weblog Policy

One of Borland’s most important values is fostering communication. In support of this, we’ve provided a weblog server for use by its employees. You can use this server to establish your own blog to reach out to your customers and friends in the development community.

Use of the blog server is conditioned upon compliance with this policy. Please take time to read through it, and click on the “I AGREE” button only if you’ll agree to abide by all of its terms. Borland may delete or block access to blogs that do not conform to this policy.

1. Confidential information. As a Borland employee, you are under an obligation not to reveal any Borland confidential information, or the confidential information of any other company that you have come into contact with in the course of your work here at Borland. That obligation applies to your weblog (even if it wasn’t hosted here at Borland) just as it would to any other type of disclosure. So be careful when you make a posting, and do not disclose anything confidential.

Remember that we’re not just talking about technical information here. You may know that a particular business transaction is close to being finalized, for example. Even though that’s not technical information, it’s still confidential, and cannot be disclosed outside of the company.

Related to this, disclosure of some technical information (even if it’s not planned for a product for example, so its disclosure may seem harmless to you) can affect Borland’s ability to obtain patent protection for example. If you’re in any doubt about whether it’s okay to post a certain piece of information, it’s always best to check with your manager.

2. Your blog will not be an official representation of Borland, and we will provide readers with occasional reminder notices to underscore that. However, readers will often forget that reminder and just be left with an impression that “a Borland employee said such and such.” Bear in mind that your comments will reflect on Borland, even if they’re not official statements from the company.

Don’t get into flame wars with your readers who comment. It’s easy to get caught up in a topic you feel strongly about, but keep it civil. It will reflect better on you and Borland.

Don’t criticize other companies or their products. This doesn’t mean you can’t discuss the relative merits of a company’s approach or product, but keep it factual. That will be more useful to your readers. And remember: a company that is a competitor at one level may be a partner or a potential customer at another.

3. Write about what you know. This is especially true if you’re going to be writing about technology or the capabilities of a Borland product. If you keep to what you know, you won’t find yourself backtracking and will present both yourself and Borland in the best light. You’ll also come across as being more reliable to your readers.

4. Above all, be professional, and use good judgment. For example, if you critically comment on something, make it a well-thought out comment, with some meat to it, not just “foo sucks.” Check your spelling and grammar. Even though the views you express on your blog are your own, and not Borland’s, they will reflect on Borland.

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Written by John Kaster

May 3, 2005 at 2:50 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Oh, quick note! policy is mistyped as "polcy" in the above. Sorry, but after reading #4 I couldn’t help myself 🙂

    have a great day!
    corbin

    Corbin Dunn

    May 3, 2005 at 3:06 pm

  2. Thanks, Corbin! Fixed the typo, so I’ve already posted an update. 😉 Strange how that didn’t show up with my spell check.

    John Kaster

    May 3, 2005 at 3:10 pm

  3. You must have used some buggy word processor. ;o)

    Chee Wee Chua

    May 3, 2005 at 11:32 pm

  4. I often click Add Word by accident instead of replace, my dictionary is probably fill with rubbish words 🙂

    Peter Morris

    May 4, 2005 at 1:55 am

  5. test

    CT

    June 10, 2005 at 4:57 pm

  6. Do workplace blogging policies pertain to employer owned blogs? If an employer installs blogging software within their company’s website and setting up blogs for their employees to use, then I can understand employers controlling what an employee can write in their blogs.

    However, if an employee sets up "their own" blog on blogger.com for instance, does the employer have the right to control what they write? Isn’t this outside of the workplace? Isn’t this a violation of an individual’s first amendment rights to free space?

    Comments please? Please respond to nick@nickroy.com with any comments you may have.

    Nick Roy

    August 30, 2005 at 11:27 am

  7. Nick, this policy is for the blog server we provide to our employees only.

    John Kaster

    January 14, 2007 at 9:51 pm


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